In addition to specific measures for these municipalities, the resolution of the Council of Ministers, published in the Diário da República, extends the declaration of the state of calamity throughout the national continental territory until 23:59 on 19 November.

On 31 October, after an extraordinary meeting of the Council of Ministers, the government announced the decision to renew the disaster situation and to apply special measures in the municipalities with a high risk of transmission of Covid-19, noting that both the extension and the restrictions in the 121 municipalities would be in force between 4 and 15 of November.

This date was amended to 19 November in the resolution, allowing it to remain in force for 15 days.

Without justifying the change in the date, the government’s official source told Lusa that “the information published in the Diário da República prevails.

Applying the general criteria of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) of “more than 240 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the last 14 days,” and considering the proximity to another municipality in that situation and the exception for outbreaks located in low-density municipalities, the government identified 121 municipalities with high risk of Covid-19 transmission, including the capital municipalities of 12 of the 18 districts of mainland Portugal; Viana do Castelo, Braga, Vila Real, Bragança, Porto, Guarda, Aveiro, Castelo Branco, Santarém, Lisbon, Setúbal and Beja. Viseu, Coimbra, Leiria, Portalegre, Évora and Faro are excluded.

Covering 70 percent of the resident population, or 7.1 million inhabitants in Portugal, the list of 121 “high risk transmission” municipalities can be consulted at and will be updated every 15 days.

Among the special measures implemented in these municipalities is the duty to stay at home, except for the 26 reasons for authorised travel, which include purchases of goods and services, performance of professional activities, obtaining health care, assistance to vulnerable people, school attendance, access to cultural facilities, physical activity, participation in social volunteering, pet walks, animal feeding, exercise of freedom of the press and travel necessary to leave the continental national territory.

In these territories all commercial establishments must close at 10pm, except restaurants, which have until 10:30pm to close; home delivery services (which cannot provide alcoholic beverages within the scope of this activity), which must close at 1am; cultural activities, which must end at 10:30pm; and other exceptions such as pharmacies, offices and clinics, funeral activities and service areas and petrol stations.

“The closing times may be set by the mayor of the municipality with territorial jurisdiction, subject to a favourable opinion from the local health authority and the security forces, provided that the maximum limits established are met,” reads the resolution of the Council of Ministers.

Among the prohibitions applying to these municipalities is the holding of events and celebrations with more than five people, except if they belong to the same household, and of “fairs and markets, unless authorised by the mayor with territorial jurisdiction”.

In these 121 municipalities, religious ceremonies and shows are allowed, following the rules of the Directorate General of Health (DGS), and at the labour level it is compulsory to have mirror teams, as well as the adoption of the teleworking regime whenever the functions in question allow it.

For the whole territory of mainland Portugal, the number of people in each group in restaurants is now limited to six, unless they belong to the same household.